Servant Leadership

It’s one thing to conform when you are a man or woman, what responsibility do you have to conform to culture when you are God?  None.  Jesus could have done, looked like, dressed like, wore his hair like whatever he wanted to do.  He felt no peer pressure.  He didn’t look at magazines and wish he looked like the models.  He was and is Almighty God.  He could do whatever he wanted.

Yet, he was a man and his entire life epitomized masculinity in cultural expression (he dressed and looked like a man), in his relationships (men were drawn to him and he had vital relationships with men and women), in his vocational choice as the son of a carpenter, in his singleness (which is noteworthy as singles can sometimes wonder about how to express sexuality in culture as a single; Jesus was single yet fully masculine).

Jesus looked like a man, sounded like a man, dressed like a man, related to men, related to women, related to children.  If you are looking for what it means to be a man in culture, there is one particular aspect of masculinity that Jesus exemplifies.

Before I tell you.  It really brings up the question, what is masculinity?

At the heart of biblical masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationship. –Piper

To lead.  To provide.  To protect.  That’s a man.  You know where I am going.  Jesus sets the bar for being a man in the love he demonstrated toward others when he gave his life for us on the Cross.  He leads in love.  He leads in self-sacrificial provision.  He leads in selfless protection of others.

Jesus is the most masculine man who has ever lived.  Men, we take our cues from him.  Want to be a man?  Self-sacrificing servant leadership that willingly gives of himself for the good of others.  That’s a real man.

That’s a hero.  That’s a Savior.  Jesus is too often portrayed in media and art as skinny, effeminate, weak.  Effeminate men don’t attract the kind of men who left their careers to be with him.  Effeminate men don’t draw crowds of thousands who hang on his every word.  Effeminate men lack the courage and strength of character to facedown the Pilates and the Herods and entire organizations like the Pharisees trying to kill you.

Womanly men aren’t that way.  But a masculine man is.  God may not call you to give your life on a Cross.  He may call you to selflessness as it relates to your wife or your children, to sacrifice career advancement so you can love those God has called you to express manhood towards.  He may not call you to be scourged but he may call you to servant leadership in the church and the time and effort that requires.  He may not call you to many things, but if you are a male than he calls you to be a man and to be a Christian man is to follow the example of a masculine Savior.

Real men will step and do so.  I believe that when men are really men, the women around them get very feminine.  Women don’t want to be around spiritual wimps or bullies.[1]  You want Christ like men for whom your femininity naturally complements and elevates.

As men are masculine and women are feminine, the happy picture, the glory God intended when he made us in his image, male and female, shines through to our joy and his glory.

[1] Phrasing from Pastor Joel Virgo.

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.

To hear the message of this excerpt in its entirety, click here

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